Paco Antequera
Our laboratory studies the initiation of DNA replication in human cells and in the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

Many replication origins map at CpG islands that also act as promoters for almost 70% of all human genes. These regions have a base composition and a chromatin structure very different from the rest of the genome and remain nonmethylated during the entire life of the organism. We intend to study the functional link between transcription and replication initiation and how these processes contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the CpG islands in the genome.

Replication origins in S. pombe colocalize with A+T-rich regions that lack detectable consensus sequences. We plan to study how the information contained in these elements is decoded by the Orc4 subunit of the origin recognition complex (ORC) and the role of ORC in the maintenance of heterochromatin and in transcriptional silencing.

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